Monday, December 31, 2007

Oregon Literary Review

The Winter/Spring 2008 issue of Oregon Literary Review is now online at http://www.oregonliteraryreview.org. Highlights include:

*Video interviews with blues musicians Mary Flower and Brad Crooks.
*Video readings by poets Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, Naomi Shihab Nye and others.
*Audio readings by poets from New Zealand and Palestine.
*Poets of Eastern Washington University Press.
*Paintings by women from the Oregon chapter of Women's Caucus for Art.
*Fiction by Alison Ruch and others.
*Claymation by Virginia Shank.
*Video by Andrew Klaus, David Bryant and others.
*Essays by Floyd Skloot, Sheri Reda and others.
*An interview with Dennis Stovall, Ooligan Press.
*Plays by Terence Kuch and others.
*"Alt-Everything," a book of essays by Terry Simons.

On First Wednesday, January 2, 2008, contributors and staff will be among those reading at the first in a series of readings-wine tasting at Blackbird Wineshop, 3519 NE 44th off Fremont, in Portland, from 7-9pm. Readings are free, $5 cover to participate in the wine tasting. To be considered for future readings, send work to editor Charles Deemer at charles@oregonliteraryreview.org.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Juno


Five minutes in, I was sure I would hate this film. I hated the artsy-fartsy credits, I disliked the sound track, and everything was coming off far too cute for my tastes. If I'd been alone, I would have walked out. But I was with my wife, so I settled in to spend two hours reciting musical scales and chords in my head.

To my shock and delight, half an hour later I was captivated by the charm and wit of this movie. It's a damn smart script communicated with stellar performances across the board. A really nice little indie film.

And earlier in the week, I was disappointed with No Country For Old Men but delighted with Charlie Wilson's War (if I have the name right).

The social life

At this stage of my life, I don't often enjoy social gatherings. I'd say 90% of the social situations I find myself in are not as enjoyable to me to being alone with a good book. This is especially true in recent years, after out-living every single one of my closest male friends. So it's rare for me to enjoy "a social evening" as I did last night.

We had T. from my piano class and his wife D. over for dinner. I made cassoulet, bought a good Petite Sirah wine (I would have bought it at the Blackbird Wineshop if I'd had time to drive so far -- I need to stock up), H. made salad and dessert. We made a bet about whether they'd be early or late. H. said late, assuming they'd get lost since our little house is off the street and not the easiest to find, especially at night. I said no way, T. struck me as a guy like myself, who might even make a dry run a few days before to make sure he knew how to get there. A guy who was habitually early. I was right.

D. and H. hit it off right away, so did she and I, and it was just a great evening of learning about one another. T., five years younger than I, is a Vietnam vet, who had a stroke a few years ago and took early retirement as a computer programmer. He also is recovering from a wild past. (I find folks with wild pasts a hell of a lot more interesting than clean upstanding types.) They're from D.C. originally.

I'm an early to bed guy, so when T. started yawning at 9, his bed time, I had to grin. We sent them home at 930 and expect to see them again. I had a terrific time, as I almost never do in social gatherings.

Meanwhile, I zillion things to catch up on, and I hope to make some headway today. First Wednesday is coming up, and my singer has a sore throat, so I've got to cover her in case she can't sing.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good news

clipped from news.yahoo.com



AP

UCLA hires Rick Neuheisel


LOS ANGELES - Rick Neuheisel is returning to college coaching at the school where he first found fame and success.

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Extraordinary resources

clipped from ocw.mit.edu

Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds.

MIT is committed to advancing education and discovery through knowledge open to everyone.

OCW shares free lecture notes, exams, and other resources from more than 1800 courses spanning MIT's entire curriculum.

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Hospitality


Sketch welcomes B., who recuperates after a hospital visit.

Sketch, a rat terrier, is an aggressively loving dog. He will express his affection whether you want to receive it or not. He's over his unfortunate puppy habit of showing this by peeing on your leg (he did this regularly to the mailman), but he still will jump on your lap and try to lick your face at every opening. We haven't done a good job of calming him down.

Stress

Been a stressful two days, hanging at the hospital while B. underwent his procedures to check his pancreas and such. He flies home this morning. I'm spending the day preparing for dinner guests, a guy in my piano class and his wife, first dinner guests I've cooked for in maybe five years! Making a clone of the classic cassoulet.

I took my AlphaSmart to the hospital yesterday and did manage to get some writing done. I'm hoping to finish a new play by Feb. 1 for a competition but no biggie if I don't make it. It's fun to be writing for the stage after so long but I have no energy, none whatever, to enter the marketplace, so what I have in mind is putting together a collection of plays that can't be performed while I am alive. I also like the freedom this gives me to raise more hell than I would want to deal with if here ha ha. A collection of posthumous plays, perfect. Last words and all that. I was, after all, a playwright through most of my working career, even if I've called myself a retired playwright in recent years. It's probably what I'm best at. So I can let out all stops, write for my favorite audience (me), and define going in that these are "posthumous" plays, not to be performed in the years remaining to me. Which means that I shouldn't enter that contest, just in case I get lucky, although this one is a little tamer than what I have in mind.

But I need to get back to the new screenplay, and the novel ... oh my, so damn much to do. I've also fallen behind in piano studies and must catch up before classes start again. Where does time go?

I'm reading an extraordinary book, FAUST IN COPENHAGEN: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF PHYSICS, setting the early years of Quantum Mechanics, focusing on the personalities involved. Fell in love with Schrodinger so much I'm seriously thinking of writing something based on two weeks of his life when he combined erotic renewal with formulating his famous equations. A remarkable period in his life, about which little is know, leaving it open to dramatic invention and interpretation.

It was good spending time with B. He is his father's son, including embracing a number of Dick's vices. I fear, however, I'm going to outlive him, despite the guarded better news at the hospital yesterday than the news from the day before. His family line has paid dearly for their hard-drinking Idaho logging roots.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Note at noon

In the cafeteria at the Mt. Hood Community Hospital, where B, is having part two of his procedure for the bad pancreas. Good news: his liver isn't as damaged as the doctor suspected, so the procedure won't be quite as complex. He's getting a shot in the pancreas, something he'll have to do every several months forever, so he needs to find a place closer to home to get it done, probably Spokane or Lewiston.

I have a few hours to kill, hence bringing the AlphaSmart. See if I can get some scriptwriting done.

B. has been telling me his drinking stories. He was much worse off than I imangined, which of course is par for the course in this particular extracurricular vice. No one knows how bad it is until it gets completely unmanageable. We all have our stories of subterfuge.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Health concerns

Brad, my late best friend's oldest son, staying with us while he sees a specialist today about his pancreas problems. Major high-tech testing today, we'll know more later. He wasn't satisfied with the treatment/diagnosis he was getting at home in Moscow, Idaho. We're crossing our fingers for him. He's 49, too young for this shit.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Audio treat

Use npr link below to go to audio links.
clipped from www.npr.org

Piano Jazz: 2007 Christmas Special

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, December 14, 2007 - Piano Jazz swings in the holiday season. Host Marian McPartland and her guests from seasons past, present and future share their favorite memories, as well as unique musical performances of Christmas classics and original holiday tunes.
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Falling behind

In every American life, I imagine, comes the moment of truth when you realize that we Americans do not live longer than anyone else, are not the most literate nation, don't have the highest standard of living, etc. We don't even take the lead in technology these days.
clipped from www.npr.org

U.S. a Late Adopter on 'Smart Phones'

Morning Edition, December 26, 2007 · When it comes to cell phones that do more than just make calls, the United States is at a disadvantage. While consumers in many European and Asian countries routinely use their phones to dart around the Internet, Americans are still catching up.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A white Christmas in Pdx, sort of

I didn't hear a forecast for snow -- but snow it did! Not much, but it stuck, enough in these parts to qualify for a very rare "white Christmas." Take a look.

video

Merry Christmas, 1914

Merry Christmas, 1914

On this day in 1914 the "Christmas Truce" of WWI, tentatively and spontaneously begun the previous evening at many places along the Front, held. This meant a day of anything from conversation to gift giving to soccer games to dining out:

    We ate their Sauerkraut and they [ate] our chocolate, cakes, etc. We had killed a pig just behind our lines. There were quite a lot of creatures rambling about the lines, including an old sow with a litter and lots of cattle and poetry. We cooked the pig in No Man's Land, sharing it with the Boche.

This recollection and many others are in Silent Night, by historian Stanley Weintraub (himself born on Dec. 24th, 1929).
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Monday, December 24, 2007

R.I.P.


I saw him in Germany when I was in the Army, 1960 or 1961.
clipped from news.yahoo.com



AP

Jazz great Oscar Peterson dies at 82


TORONTO - Oscar Peterson, whose early talent, speedy fingers and musical genius made him one of the world's best known jazz pianists, has died. He was 82.

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Adventure

What a movie this experience would make!
Wilde in America

On this day in 1881 Oscar Wilde embarked for America and a year-long lecture tour on such topics as "The House Beautiful" and "The Decorative Arts." He may or may not have told passengers that "the roaring ocean does not roar," or told a customs agent that "I have nothing to declare except my genius," but the captain did apparently express his regret at not having Wilde "lashed to the bowsprit on the windward side." Thousands flocked to see and hear him, and many so took to heart his proclaimed mission "to make this artistic movement the basis for a new civilization" that craft societies and museum patronage blossomed in his wake.
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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

I hope your holidays find you happy and productive, and the new year brings exciting new challenges into your life. Or not, as you wish. Mellow and unproductive can be nice, too.

In case you missed Santa telling the Christmas story when I posted it a few weeks ago, here it is again. He does a fine job, I think. The actor is the late B. Joe Medley, who died still in costume after a performance (not this play, another some years later).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

White Christmas


The Irving Berlin classic, best performed by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters (yes!) in the 1950s.

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

Elvis



Blue Christmas
(words & music by billy hayes - jay johnson)

I'll have a blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Wont be the same dear, if you're not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start falling
Thats when those blue memories start calling
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas

Rudolph



Run Rudolph Run

Out of all the reindeers you know you’re the mastermind
Run, run Rudolph, Randalph ain’t too far behind
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

Said Santa to a boy child “What have you been longing for?”
“All I want for Christmas is a Rock and Roll electric guitar”
And then away went Rudolph a whizzing like a shooting star
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town, come on
Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph, reeling like a merry-go-round

Said Santa to a girl child “What would please you most to get?”
“A little baby doll that can cry, sleep, and wet”
And then away went Rudolph a whizzing like a Saber jet
Run, run Rudolph, Santa’s got to make it to town
Santa make him hurry, tell him he can take the freeway down
Run, run Rudolph ‘cause I’m reelin’ like a merry-go-round

--Chuck Berry

Christmas tree



Little Tree

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"

-- E. E. Cummings


Christmasy

Wrapped presents, which means I don't have to do them tomorrow. Actually feeling a tad in the holiday spirit.

Mahagonny on TV

A couple weeks ago, public television's Great Performances featured the L.A. Mahagonny that I'd flown down to see. I had TiVo record it but haven't watched it yet. Something to look forward to!

Controversial Santa


I know about Santa becoming controversial. In my play "Christmas at the Juniper Tavern", there were a few objections to the Christmas story being told by Santa (rather than by a priest, I suppose) in the play. This strikes me as being more "out there."

Newcomer on block calls Santa display art, but Bremerton neighbors repulsed

It's not so much the Santa impaled on the cross in front of Art Conrad's Bremerton home, it's the headless Santa that sings carols on his front porch that has neighbors crying humbug.

"It's horrible and gruesome," said Vickie Marquina, who lives near Conrad on Olympic Avenue. "It's offensive, and Santa with no head is just horrid."

Conrad, 52, who just moved into the house, said his Santa-on-a-cross is his personal protest against the commercialization of Christmas.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Finito

Uploading took a tad over an hour. Already found one typo to fix. Onward.

Back to writing

What a concept! But with the new review done except for touchup stuff, I can get back to writing, which I am eager to do. See if I can finish the drafts of two scripts I'm working on. Also, lots of catch up work on my piano studies. Get the new term started off with a high energy work routine. Routine is the name of the game, as far as I'm concerned. I belong to the Perspiration, not Inspiration, School of Writing, although inspiration does happen and is wonderful when it does. But you can't sit around waiting for it (especially on a bar stool, as so many "writers" I've met over the years seem to do).

Tomorrow I have presents to wrap and such ... then Christmas ... so I hope to begin on December 26th.

Uploading

Here I am at the university, uploading the 600M new issue of Oregon Literary Review. I'll give my editors a few days to look it over before officially releasing it. How long does it take to upload 600M via a T1 line? Hmm. Less than an hour, I bet.

Two cartoons I can relate to


Pretty much done

Well, the bulk of the work is done. Need to check links, correct typos etc. It's a huge issue in file size because of an increase in video files: the past issues have been around 250M, this one is 600M. No biggie, however, we have the space.

Later, I'll link to some highlights here.

I think I'll catch a movie today and relax.

This may be the day

I have a good short at finishing the new issue of the review today.

Watched an exciting if sloppy basketball game last night, Stanford women upsetting Tennessee in overtime.

Time to start editing.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Editing blues

Been at it about six hours today and definitely need a long break. I feel like I'm only a few hours from the end, so maybe I'll wait until tomorrow to finish up. I still have Monday in case something comes up; I'd like to let my editors look over the new issue for the rest of the week and release it near the end of the year. Man, more work this time around, mainly because of all the video to edit.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Home sweet home

Took two days R&R at the coast. Did the trick, glad to be back. More about the trip later.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

R & R

Taking a day or two off before hitting the last twenty or so hours of editing. Hope to get the new review out before Xmas but it's still a horse race. But I definitely need a battery charge before getting back to it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Exhausting deliberations

We, the jury, started our deliberations at 10 a.m. and we reached the required unanimous verdict five hours later at 3 p.m., taking only one 15 minute break to stretch. It wasn't an easy task because all of us pretty much felt the case was an unnecessary bullshit application of a stupid law to begin with -- but it's not our job to determine what the law should be. So we didn't particularly like arriving at a guilty verdict but we found no way to avoid it and uphold our sworn duty to apply what we thought were the facts of the case to the written law. But in a way, the whole affair was a waste of tax dollars, in our opinion. In the end we felt, as one juror put it, as if we'd just run a marathon. All of us were serious and focused, a great group to work with. But nobody was smiling. End of jury duty.

Space Patrol

Another 50s favorite. I was already a teenager by the time we had a TV in our house. A great blessing, not being raised by television (despite favorite shows)!

Crusader Rabbit

This sure brings back memories. In the 50s, used to race home from school to see this at 4.

Get out of jail card?

Our professional basketball team has a new look. Young guys who stay out of jail. The Jail Blazers, knock on my wooden head, may be a thing of the past. And our best play and #1 draft choice is sitting the season out after surgery, so the future looks bright.
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AP

Roy leads Blazers to 8th straight win


PORTLAND, Ore. - Brandon Roy had 24 points and eight assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to their eighth straight victory, 88-76 over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night.

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How I think the day will go

To jury duty first thing in the morning. Expect we'll reach a verdict before noon, but I may be wrong. At any rate, when we're done, I'll go to the office and make the final downloads I need for the review. A good, busy day.

Next week B., my late soul brother's son, is coming to see a specialist about his pancreas problems and will stay here. I'll drive him where he needs to go. He is not at all happy with his treatment locally, which for him is Moscow, Idaho. Dick died from pancreatic cancer, so this is troubling. He's too young for this shit.

I still have a lot of work on the review but the difficult poetry section is just about done. The rest shouldn't be as time consuming to put together. It's a fine issue, except for music. My music editor disappeared on me. An unfortunate situation. I suppose I need to find a new editor for the summer issue.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jury duty

I favor throwing random folks together to perform a common task. This is why I support a mandatory draft, although I would include other than military service in the mix. Jury duty also does this, and today I reported for service as summoned. I had a blast. The three highlights:
  • Jury duty is a great people-watching environment. This morning there was a very strange fellow among us: long white hair and long white beard, coke spectacles, tall and skinny, who kept fidgeting and walking in place. Couldn't keep still. Well, as soon as we were seated in the jury room, he went up to the honcho and told her he was a psychotic schizophrenic. Man, did the lady honcho do a double take! He looked like he was telling the truth, so she excused him. And I began to wonder: did he exit the courthouse, pull off his fake hair and beard, take off his coke glasses, and grin as he walked to Starbucks up the street?
  • In the waiting room, I was sitting next to a talkative, rugged individualist, anti-government, right wing fellow, one of my favorite conversation companions in small doses. We found some common ground and I ignored all our uncommon ground, which meant we talked about sports, where we BOTH were conservatives. Then, tah dah!, I got called to report to a courtroom.
  • I was one of six selected to serve on a jury in a criminal case. Go back to finish tomorrow, so I can't talk about it now, but it's a fascinating case, and better, my five colleagues are fun to hang with, another professor like myself, a real estate guy, a computer geek, and two students. The waiting time isn't boring but hilarious because we all have similar senses of humor, it appears. So I'm having a lot of fun and actually look forward to returning tomorrow to decide our case.

So even though I didn't get any editing done today, I had a terrific time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A gray day for editing

Got an early start and have put in a full day of editing the review, both html and video editing. Light at the end of the tunnel and all that. A dinner party tonight, then I have all day of jury duty tomorrow, so I needed to make real progress today, which I did. I think I can finish in two or three days now, hopefully by the end of the week.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Morning screening

We went to a film screening this morning, invited by an actress in one of my summer shorts, who also was in this. Not quite an hour long and like a lot of indie movies I've seen: strong theme, a series of situations but no real story; lots of good performances; too conscious of itself, in this instance reflected in over-editing and a maddening use of extreme closeups. Of course, the "in" crowd at the screening -- cast, crew and friends -- went wild about it. However, one neutral observer asked me, "How can a film seem long if it's not even an hour?"

All in all, you have to applaud any film that gets finished for no other reason than that they actually did it. No talking about it. Action. I'm glad I went.

Success as albatross

Many writers, at all levels, have this experience: a "hit" that becomes identified with them, even though the writer feels s/he has "grown beyond" the popular work. In my case, "Christmas at the Juniper Tavern" is such a work.
He Do the Police in Different Voices

On this day in 1922 T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land was published -- making something of a benchmark for modern literature, given that Joyce's Ulysses and Woolf's Jacob's Room were also published that year.

Even before book publication Eliot said that he had grown beyond The Waste Land; when everyone began calling it and him the voice of a generation, or of the Age, he began to regard the poem as an albatross. But running from the label and the attention was to no avail, and as the poem and the poet were placed on an ever-higher pedestal, so each became a larger target for gossip and parody.
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Blackbird Wineshop: First Wednesdays

Stopped by last night and met owners Andy and Amelia. What a perfect venue for the new First Wednesdays series! Small, intimate, filled with Amelia's art (and other artists will be featured, i.e. a gallery), and a collection of their favorite wines for sale.

We strive for hand-crafted, small production (5000 cases or less) to insure higher quality.

Reasonably priced, most wines seem to be in the $15-20 range. A really nice wineshop.

So the adventure begins January 2nd! We're excited, they're excited. I've got the Jan. 2nd program set and am working on Feb. 6th. I plan to schedule a few months ahead. Also, Andy has video expertise and a projector, which means we should be able to add to our program a short video now and again, the sort of thing we publish.

The January 2nd program:

Readers: Evelyn Sharenov (nonfiction editor), Joshua Weber (fiction editor), Paul Pintarich, Charles Deemer (editor), folksinger Judith Richmond.

Blackbird is at 3519 NE 44th in Portland, just north of Fremont. If you're coming east out Fremont, 44th is split, the north branch to the left coming before the southern branch. Turn north/left on 44th at the bank, and Blackbird is the next building on the left. Lots of parking along the street.

The first First Wednesday is Jan. 2, 2008, 7-9pm. Be there or be square.

Blackbird Wineshop.

P.S. In less than an hour, I found this posting on Google! Man, they have the world's fastest spider.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Remembering Peter Fornara

Looks like my essay for the anthology is fine. Book due out early in 2008. Looks like a good one, a collection of essays about Oregon and what makes it unique.

At last, a book in OLR

Ever since founding Oregon Literary Review, I've wanted to take advantage of our electronic environment by publishing book-length works. But none have come our way -- until now. Terry Simons, a radical writer, thinker, and playwright, who wrote a teleplay I acted in decades ago, sent me a collection of essays, and I've decided to publish the entire book in our new issue. I expect it might cause a stink. My note suggests why:

From time to time, a large body of writing drops into my lap that impresses me by its energy, iconoclasm and seriousness. Such is the case with the following book of essays by Terry Simons. These essays are radical, idiosyncratic, revisionist -- and I cannot think of an academic publisher who would look at them with favor. However, I think they deserve an audience and so am publishing them. This is a work in progress. CD

What else can be said with a book of essays with titles like "The Essential Spirituality of the Communist Manifesto"? and "Teachers As First Responders." I'm delighted to make this unusual and challenging book available. Its wonderful title is Alt-Everything: Notes on History, Cinema & Education.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Golden Globe nominees

The Globes usually reflect my own tastes more closely than the Oscars do.

HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION 2008 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2007


12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

1. DIABLO CODY – JUNO
2. ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
3. CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON – ATONEMENT
4. RONALD HARWOOD – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
5. AARON SORKIN – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR


1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

1. AMERICAN GANGSTER
Imagine Entertainment/Scott Free Productions; Universal Pictures
2. ATONEMENT
Working Title Productions; Focus Features
3. EASTERN PROMISES
Kudos Pictures – UK Serendipity Point Films – Canada A UK/Canada Co-Production; Focus Features
4. THE GREAT DEBATERS
Harpo Films; The Weinstein Company/MGM
5. MICHAEL CLAYTON
Clayton Productions LLC; Warner Bros. Pictures
6. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
7. THERE WILL BE BLOOD
A Joanne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production; Paramount Vantage and Miramax Films

2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

1. CATE BLANCHETT – ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE
2. JULIE CHRISTIE – AWAY FROM HER
3. JODIE FOSTER – THE BRAVE ONE
4. ANGELINA JOLIE – A MIGHTY HEART
5. KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – ATONEMENT

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

1. GEORGE CLOONEY – MICHAEL CLAYTON
2. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS – THERE WILL BE BLOOD
3. JAMES MCAVOY – ATONEMENT
4. VIGGO MORTENSEN – EASTERN PROMISES
5. DENZEL WASHINGTON – AMERICAN GANGSTER

4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

1. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE
Revolution Studios International; Sony Pictures Releasing
2. CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
Universal Pictures/Relativity Media/Participant Productions/Playtone; Universal Pictures
3. HAIRSPRAY
New Line Cinema in association with Ingenious Film Partners; New Line Cinema
4. JUNO
Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production; Fox Searchlight Pictures
5. SWEENEY TODD
Parkes/Mac Donald and Zanuck Company; Warner Bros. Pictures

5.BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

1. AMY ADAMS – ENCHANTED
2. NIKKI BLONSKY – HAIRSPRAY
3. HELENA BONHAM CARTER – SWEENEY TODD
4. MARION COTILLARD – LA VIE EN ROSE
5. ELLEN PAGE – JUNO

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

1. JOHNNY DEPP – SWEENEY TODD
2. RYAN GOSLING – LARS AND THE REAL GIRL
3. TOM HANKS – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
4. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN – THE SAVAGES
5. JOHN C. REILLY – WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY

7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

1. BEE MOVIE
DreamWorks Animation; DreamWorks Animation
2. RATATOUILLE
Pixar; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Distribution
3. THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Gracie Films; Twentieth Century Fox

8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS (ROMANIA)
Mobra Films; IFC First Take
2. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (FRANCE AND USA)
A Kennedy/Marshall Company and Jon Kilik Production; Miramax/Paramount Vantage
3. THE KITE RUNNER (USA)
DreamWorks Pictures Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Paramount Classics Participant Productions Present a Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Parkes/Macdonald Production Distributed by Paramount Classics
4. LUST, CAUTION (TAIWAN)
Haishang Films; Focus Features
5. PERSEPOLIS (FRANCE)
247 Films; Sony Pictures Classics

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

1. CATE BLANCHETT – I’M NOT THERE
2. JULIA ROBERTS – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
3. SAOIRSE RONAN –ATONEMENT
4. AMY RYAN – GONE BABY GONE
5. TILDA SWINTON – MICHAEL CLAYTON

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

1. CASEY AFFLECK – THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
2. JAVIER BARDEM –NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
3. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN – CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR
4. JOHN TRAVOLTA – HAIRSPRAY
5. TOM WILKINSON – MICHAEL CLAYTON

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

1. TIM BURTON – SWEENEY TODD
2. ETHAN COEN & JOEL COEN – NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
3. JULIAN SCHNABEL – THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
4. RIDLEY SCOTT – AMERICAN GANGSTER
5. JOE WRIGHT – ATONEMENT


Complete list.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Domain resolution

With extraordinary help from a woman at enom.com, I now have control of the "soft" domain oregonlitrev.org for OLR -- and have pointed it where it needs to go. I am pinching myself that this is resolved. I had kissed a solution off.

Henderson the Rain King

...and Seize the Day are my two favorites from his body of work.
Saul Bellow's Human Comedy

On this day in 1976 Saul Bellow delivered his speech in acceptance of the Nobel Prize. At this point, Bellow had written only fifteen of his twenty-nine books, but among these are his major prize-winners -- The Adventures of Augie March (1953), Henderson the Rain King (1959), Herzog (1964), Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970), and Humboldt's Gift (1975). These were proof enough, said the Academy, of Bellow's "exuberant ideas, flashing irony, hilarious comedy and burning compassion." His characters are anti-heroes more or less lost in a ram-shackle world, but they keep their chin up even as they stick their neck out, and are funny. In his acceptance speech, Bellow seemed to make an appeal on their behalf, urging modern writers to stick to the human comedy, and build their novels as if "a sort of latter-day lean-to, a hovel in which the spirit takes shelter" from the dehumanizing storm.
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A call for readers in the Portland area

Oregon Literary Review is co-hosting a new series of "First Wednesday" readings and wine tastings at the Blackbird Wineshop, 3519 NE 44th at Fremont. Writers interested in being considered to read should contact OLR editor Charles Deemer (charles@oregonliteraryreview.org) with a sample of their work. Readings are the first
Wednesday of each month. We are interested in hearing not only from poets and fiction
writers but from essayists, playwrights, screenwriters, song writers, etc.

First Wednesdays

Oregon Literary Review is going to co-host a new series of readings and wine tasting at the Blackbird Wineshop in Portland on the first Wednesday of each month. We'll start January 2nd, which means we're rushing around to line up some readers. I'll do it, so will our nonfiction editor Evelyn Sharenov, and maybe two others. The wineshop approached me with the idea, and I like it. It puts us on the ground floor of the event with input to shape it in interesting new ways.

Check out Blackbird Wineshop.

Check out Oregon Literary Review.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Editor's hat

Put in a few hours on the new issue of the review this afternoon. Looks like about a 30 or 40 hour job, so I have a good shot at finishing before Christmas, which is my goal. My major disappointment is with the music section, which for the second issue in a row is weak. I need to talk to my music editor about this.

Domain schnomain

And today, this:

12/11/2007 4:30PM EST

One Avenue Networks we have backed out of the Avid Hosting Deal

We wish the best for all those affected. Any questions regarding domains or Websites should be directed to Avid Hosting.

Thank You

One Avenue Networks LLC

Easier said than done -- I've yet to figure out how to contact the vanished Avid.

Chris Connor at Quinnipiac College

Mary Flower's Terminal Rag

Remembering Paul deLay

Santa Tells the Christmas Story

Testing one click add service.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sanctuary

I went to my office this morning -- it was so quiet! Tied together loose ends from last term and did some research for background music for a video on Wordstock that I'm making from footage shot by Primus. This definitely is our "video issue," with many additions to Julie's usual good work in the area.

Domain II

One Avenue changed the URL address of their info site without providing a link from the old to the new. At the new is this:

UPDATE 12/10/2007: Avid Hosting Servers with Customer Records and Web Data were delivered by FedEx at 9:30 AM EST, we are in the process of unpacking and sorting the servers in order to restore service.

One likes to be hopeful that this gigantic mess might actually be resolved, but I'll believe it when I see it. I think we're losing about 20 or 30 visitors a day because of the screw up. Not the end of the world.

Domain soap opera

Will this never end? The latest ...

This is all very disconcerting, IMO. Originally there was a form at Avidhosting.com. Then that page was forwarded to http://avidhosting.oneavenue.com and One Avenue Networks mentioned they had "obtained control of all active avidhosting clients....etc.. I can't quote that because the link is no longer on the server!!!! Why is IT gone too?? What is going on here?


The above is quoted from avidhosting.org, a site put up by another avidhosting.com victim who is documenting this continuing mess. I have no idea how many websites have been screwed up by them. Fortunately, I was able to upload everything to a different host quickly ... but the problem remains that the avid URL, which alas is what most folks bookmarked, now goes nowhere and will continue to until I can get control of the domain, which after all I own, but to do this, to transfer it, I need the cooperation of avid, which doesn't exist. Catch-22.

Term break

I just finished up my grading. The term break officially begins. I have almost a month off, a time to get a lot of writing and reading done. We're taking off to the coast for a couple days but otherwise staying close to home.

I'm on an Edward Albee kick. Have a tall stack of books, mainly interviews and prose pieces but also the last volume of his collected plays.

When winter term begins, I hope to have drafts of a new screenplay and new stage play. Once I do this, I bring fiction front burner and finish the novel draft, hopefully before summer.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Liquor and Its Discontents

Those who drink more booze than is good for them, whether addicted alcoholics or not, react across a broad spectrum of behaviors and physical consequences. No doubt genetics play a role in this. I appear to have been blessed with good equipment in this regard, which is why I'm healthier today than I have a right to be. This comes to mind because I just got off the phone with someone who was dealt a bad deck and at 50 already has major health issues brought about by alcohol abuse.

It makes no sense that he should suffer more than I. So many things in life make no sense to the rational mind. I call it luck of the draw; others would say God's will. But my friend, with a kid starting college and his own business he now has little energy to run, is in a personal and financial crisis. He gets very down on himself for "wasting his life drinking," as he puts it. If he gets through this, however, he may be able to come to his past with a different perspective.

I have as many good memories of drinking as bad ones, which is not the sort of thing alcohol counselors like to hear. But I was never a very good "treatment student." Try suggesting the exchange of the Lord's Prayer with a Buddhist chant in an AA meeting ha ha. I'm an existentialist, which means I take full responsibility for bad behavior and don't take the excuse of being powerless or a victim. I know how addiction works: a little like gravity. But you don't have to throw yourself off the cliff in the first place.

At any rate, it's sad to see my friend suffering so much. He's got a lot to live for and I hope the gods of fate cut him a break.

The Decline of the West

For some time, I've had this vague notion of how history works: cultures progress, and as they do, they lose their appetite for war. Unfortunately, this makes them inferior warriors, so that when challenged by "inferior" cultures in which warriors are valued, eventually they face an enemy that defeats them. Thus Greece fell. Thus Rome fell. And so on. And the pattern repeats itself throughout history.

Here is a recent book that articulates this logic much better than I can.

The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam's Threat to the West
Lee Harris
Basic Books, NY, 2007

This is not a pleasant book to read because the news is bad. But I believe it's an important book and that Harris' insights are mostly true. Excerpts:

The approach this book will take is that there is no guarantee of inevitable progress because the law of the jungle can never be abolished, though it can be, and has been, ameliorated by various cultural traditions including our own. There can be no hope of an end of history or of a golden age in which men will no longer be driven to conflict and struggle. Furthermore, there can be no guarantee that these struggles will be merely inconclusive "clashes" between civilizations. On the contrary, there is every reason to assume that future struggles will end in the triumph of one civilization and the demise of another. The first Arab conquerors did not clash with the Sassanian Empire_they absorbed and transformed it. The Ottomans did not clash with the Byzantine Empire_they conquered it and remade it in their own image. The Spanish did not clash with the Aztec civilization_they annihilated it. The Anglo-Saxons in North America did not clash with the native American cultures_they wiped them out.


If the modern liberal West is to survive, it must begin by recognizing the laws of power that govern the jungle. Even if it does not wish to obey these laws, it must know them. For example, it must clearly understand that our own liberal and popular cultures of reason are serendipitous exceptions to these laws; they must not be taken as evidence that the laws of the jungle are destined to wither away. Where the tribe is a person's only guarantee of security and defense, men will continue to rely on their tribes, and they will act as tribal actors because it is the rational thing for them to do. On the other hand, the rational actor cannot exist unless his whole society has managed somehow to escape the laws of the jungle; hence, the rational actor must recognize that if he is to remain a rational actor, he must be willing to defend at all cost the traditions and institutions of the society that permits him this option. If he is deluded into believing that all men are rational actors by nature, then he will be clueless when confronted with the tribal actor, whose conduct and behavior will make no sense to him. Worse, because the rational actor will be tempted to dismiss the tribal actor as behaving irrationally, the rational actor will fail to see that it is the tribal actor, and not himself, who is acting rationally in terms of the universal struggle for survival and supremacy.


When art + commerce = farce

Poetry, Ford in Head-On Crash

On this day in 1955, American poet Marianne Moore submitted the last of the names that she had contracted to provide to the Ford Motor Company for the new car they were about to launch.
What they got was "Anticipator," "Thunder Crester," "Pastelogram," "Intelligent Whale," "The Resilient Bullet," "Mongoose Civique," "Andante con Moto," "Varsity Stroke" and then, as her very last try for the name magic, "Utopian Turtletop."

None of the final contenders, neither "Corsair" nor "Citation" nor "Ranger" nor "Pacer," made the grade in the end, and Ford returned to its better, much earlier idea: the Edsel.

Moore was almost a cult figure in America during the 50s and 60s, known as much for her love of baseball (sometimes throwing the first pitch) and prize fights (sometimes dining with Cassius Clay), as for her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry.
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9 years ago today...


...my best friend died. It doesn't feel like almost a decade ago, perhaps because his presence is still strong. The experience of time is strange indeed.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Translation?


Christmas at the Juniper Tavern (Taschenbuch)
von Charles Deemer (Autor)

Noch keine Kundenrezensionen vorhanden: Schreiben Sie die erste!

The domain soap opera continues

Now if you try to go to Avid Hosting, you get this:
As of 12/8/2007 One Avenue Networks Obtained Control of all Active Avid Hosting Clients

On 12/10/2007 all the Web Servers previously owned and Managed by Avid Hosting will be in the One Avenue Networks Tampa, Florida Data Center.

Our plans are to have all the Servers and Websites online no later than Friday 12/14/2007, this is a wide estimate in order to compensate for all that can go wrong during a large scale migration.


This will be interesting. I just want to get control of the domain so I can change its redirection.

There's no accounting for taste

H and I can't agree on a movie to see, so we're going to the same theater, going to two different films, and fortunately come out within minutes of one another.

She wants to see I'M NOT THERE. This sounds too cute for me. Besides, I recently saw an excellent documentary about Dylan at the Newport Folk Festivals and don't want to spoil the memory of it.

I want to see NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. This sounds too dark for her. Heavy dramas and dark comedies, my favorite two genres, are not her thing.

Also in the taste department: got a phone call from H's brother-in-law, who loved Juniper Tavern. What's nice about this is that he's lived on the east coast all his life and doesn't know or remember squat about the Rajneeshi. Around here, folks still put the story in the context of our local history, which reduces its reach. Here we have someone who appreciates it for its broader appeal. I like that.

I thank the gods of serendipity for the two major accidents that make it even available to watch today: the young director who got it done in the first place, which never would have happened if a. he weren't in Portland to see his girlfriend while the play was running and b. he didn't have the personal connections to get it to Oregon Public Television on very short notice; and a writer friend finding a VHS tape of the television premier and giving it to me so I could make a DVD and get it on the web. So easily none of this could have happened, and JT would be another play that comes and goes without dynamic visual record.

Indeed, just about everything that's happened in my career to a significant positive degree has been accidental. You have to have the right material -- but you also have to be in the right place at the right time with it. You only control the former. And "right material" is defined by something YOU value. Alas, my dramatic and entertainment values are in a small minority in this culture.

Along the same lines, my agent recently shared that film executives are asking him all the time if he has anything like Little Miss Sunshine. Interesting. Maybe the commercial moral is, whenever there's an odd hit, something different, quickly clone it and send it out.

I am hoping this for THE BRAZEN WING, which my agent was marketing before the strike and will continue to market after the strike. The upcoming THE BUCKET LIST is a male-male version of the same kind of story, getting a terminal illness and doing all you can before it strikes. With Freeman-Nicholson, this may be a hit. If it is, then BW is in the same genre and of the same spirit. (And may have been there first, actually.) Interesting.

Symptoms

Salinger, Lennon, Browning

On this day in 1980 Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon outside his New York City apartment building. There are two books by him (In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works), and many about him, but the book which will forever be associated with Lennon is The Catcher in the Rye.

At the trial, he killed because he was too Holden, his pre-sentence statement being a reading aloud of the passage from the text which begins, "Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all...." And months afterwards Chapman was happily handing out autographed copies of the book from the supply he kept in his cell.
last week four bidders met the half-million dollar asking price for the "Double Fantasy" album which Lennon autographed for Chapman just hours before being shot. This was found on the ground at the murder scene, and as it was used in evidence at Chapman's trial, it boasts his "forensically enhanced" fingerprints.
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34 years of Christmas jazz


We had a delightful night, seeing jazz pianist Jeannie Hoffman and bassist David Friesen in their 34th season of performing holiday jazz, last night with a drummer and alto sax player in the intimate "performance room" next to O'Conners restaurant in Multnomah Village. I last saw them about 20 years ago. For a decade before that, when Hoffman was the house pianist at the Left Bank saloon, I came by regularly for a pitcher of beer, a bucket of clams, and a request of "I'll Remember April," a routine with me then. The Multnomah performance space is intimate, 40 a full house, and we had dinner, both loving our orders. I'd never heard of Jambalaya Macaroni and Cheese but it was excellent.

H is so damn busy, we don't get out often for a night like this, and it was great fun. We were seated next to a couple almost our age, whose passion is doing the Argentine Tango -- he told me all the differences between it and the "inferior" American version of the dance. I didn't realize Portland was a big tango town but he said the international tango convention is often here, that you can tango any night of the week in Portland, and a typical ballroom will draw 50-100 tango dancers.

I like Multnomah Village. It hasn't changed all that much since 1967 when I briefly lived here, the year I dropped out of grad school to "become a writer" and succeeded. Left a PhD candidate, returned an MFA candidate, first in fiction, finally in playwriting.

Just a wonderful night. And later in the month we're having a fellow in my piano class and his wife over for dinner. He and I laugh a lot. Always a good sign. We have similar senses of humor and spend a lot of before class, and even in class, time cracking one another up.